As Linnets Take Wing, NaPoWriMo, Day 18

“There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet’s wings.”

–W.B. Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”


Around the glimmering lake, where birds still sing,

though you’ve been gone for many a year,

I stayed and watched as linnets take wing.


Once I longed to wear your ring–

before things changed, I sought you here,

around the glimmering lake, where birds still sing,


You promised the sun, the moon, and everything.

before the bad times came and settled near,

I stayed and watched the linnets take wing.


I realize now, I was just a fling

though I thought you loved and held me dear

around the glimmering lake, the birds still sing


Here at my side, our baby did cling

without a father. She brought me untold joy and cheer–

I stayed and watched the linnets take wing.


I dreamt I was a queen and you my king,

before you sailed far from my pier

around the glimmering lake, where birds still sing,

I stayed and watched the linnets take wing.


Faye Collins, “Pine and Fog at Thirlmer”











Somewhat related to today’s NaPoWriMo prompt, I’ve stolen Jane Dougherty’s idea, so it only seemed right to base my villanelle on her beloved Yeats. In the spirit of the prompt, this one probably needs a lot of revision! 🙂

I’m also linking this to dVerse, where Sarah is hosting for the first time. She’s asked us to write an ekphrastic poem (which I’m not sure that this is)  based on the work of artist Faye Collins.

40 thoughts on “As Linnets Take Wing, NaPoWriMo, Day 18

  1. Well, I think this works on every level. I think the words and the image work together really well, creating that atmosphere of yearning melancholy. Thank you for dropping by and sharing my first prompt!

  2. It’s a beauty, Merril. The only revision I would do would be to get some of the longer lines to behave themselves. The atmosphere is gorgeous! Isn’t it strange how this type of poem always seems to end up being about lost love? Perhaps it’s the most universal of emotions.

    • Thank you, Jane. And thank you for the idea. Yes, some of the lines are a bit unruly. I did chop some, but we’ll see. I was kind of playing about with line length. . .
      I didn’t set out to write about lost love, so perhaps you are right. 🙂

      • I’m very conservative about formal poetry. If it’s meant to have lines of a particular length I stick to it and keep the rhythm all the way through. Like the rhymes. If the form calls for rhymes, I rhyme. I know other people pick and choose, but to my mind they’re writing a different kind of poem. Not that it matters in the slightest.

      • I tried to keep the rhythm and the rhyme scheme. Are the lines supposed to be a certain length? It seemed like they were different, otherwise, I would have kept to them. I will have to go look again. But not today–still need to get some non-poetry work done! 🙂

  3. Can’t really go wrong with Yeats as inspiration. It does have the quality of a ballad somewhat. This poem also has a good “mouthfeel” which I know is a culinary term and one I’m not overly fond of, but it somehow fits to the pleasant way the words sound themselves out.

  4. Aww, this is a heartbreaking and touching poem! It was bittersweet, as much of life seems to be. . . I like that you chose a murky, misty lake and those linnets will have to be looked up as soon as I get away from blogging, Merril.

  5. Merril, I found a sad fact out about linnets in England! There has been a drop by 57% of their population. . . I’m not sure if I have seen this variation of a finch. They sure do look pretty! I have spied the Rose colored (they wear a bib of pinkish rose) grossbeak around OWU campus.

  6. Pingback: NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo 2018 – Day 18 – “The Best Way To Appreciate The Sound Of Silence” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

  7. Pingback: Into an ever greater- fantasticalicious childhood. – Nicolas Heartmann

  8. Pingback: As Linnets Take Wing – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

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